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STACK EMISSIONS TESTING – A COST DESCRIPTION

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread with alarming speed, infecting millions and as the health and human toll grows, the economic damage is already evident and represents the largest economic shock the world has experienced in decades. Consequently, KCM strives to serve our clients best interests by looking at ways to minimise costs, and in doing this we want to highlight KCM’S cost process of doing isokinetic emissions testing.

Is it worth the expense?  

The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act no. 39 of 2004) stipulates that that any operation producing air pollution – which in terms of the Act is referred to as an atmospheric emission – must ensure that they have in place an effective air quality management plan. Certain industries have been documented as carrying out “listed activities”, in which case they need to apply for an Atmospheric Emission License (AEL). These Section21 listed activities cover (amongst others):

  • Combustion installations
  • Petroleum industry
  • Carbonisation and coal gasification
  • Metallurgical industry
  • Mineral processing, storage and handling
  • Organic chemicals
  • Inorganic chemicals
  • Disposal of hazardous and general waste
  • Pulp and paper manufacturing
  • Animal matter processing.

KCM understands these listed activities intimately. Our emission, or stack, monitoring follows specific test methods and protocols for emission measurement and sampling of emission concentrations which are pollutant specific and sometimes industry specific. We test for all pollutants listed in the legislation including Particulate Matter (PM), SO2, NOx, CO, HCl, HF, NH3, Heavy Metals, TVOC’s – and even dioxins, furans and PAH’s. Results are used in AEL applications, dispersion modelling, and compliance reports.

What exactly are you paying for?

  1. Mobilization – This refers to getting the stack testing team to your facility. Variable costs include distance travelled and how many separate mobilizations are required. Suggestions for reducing costs on mobilizations include using careful preparations to prevent the need for a retest.
  2. Equipment – This refers to the tools needed to conduct testing.  These are fixed costs that include the highly specialized measurement tools and analyzers generally required by EPA methods in order to demonstrate compliance.
  3. Labor Hours – This refers to the people and time needed to conduct testing. The fixed costs associated with labor are that a certain number of people are usually necessary to meet needs and the testing times and durations are set by EPA as part of methods.
  4. Lab analysis of results – This refers to verifying the data gathered in the field.  There are both fixed and variable costs associated with the reporting.  Fixed costs are the analysis methods pre-determined by the EPA.  Variable costs include the turnaround time on results and varies depending on the client needs and demands. Get the stack testing scheduled early enough to allow for normal wait time which is generally 3-4 weeks to get results back.

Stack testing needs to be a part of any emissions-producing facility and should be considered a fixed part of the budget.  But we hope that in better understanding the stack testing pricing structure, you’ll be better able to plan, budget, and reduce costs associated with this service.

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